Revised Standard Version RSV Translation Keys

The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is a comprehensive revision of the King James Version, the Revised Version of 1881-1885, and the American Standard Version of 1901, published in stages around the middle of the 20th century. It aims to present a literally accurate translation of the Bible in modern English. The panel of scholars who worked on the translation used the 17th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek text for the New Testament, and the traditional Hebrew Masoretic Text for the Old Testament. However, they amended the Hebrew in a number of places. In the Book of Isaiah, they sometimes followed readings found in the then newly discovered Dead Sea Scrolls.
The RSV New Testament was published on February 11, 1946. In his presentation speech to the International Council of Religious Education, Luther Weigle, dean of the translation committee, explained that he wanted the RSV to supplement and not supplant the King James and American Standard Versions.

In 1950, the Council merged with the Federal Council of Churches to form the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. The RSV copyright was assigned to the new Council’s Division of Christian Education.

After a thorough examination and about eighty changes to the New Testament text, the NCC authorized the RSV Bible for publication in 1951. St. Jerome’s Day, September 30, 1952, was selected as the day of publication, and on that day, the NCC sponsored a celebratory rally in Washington D.C., with representatives of the churches affiliated with it present. The very first copy of the RSV Bible to come off the press was presented by Weigle to President Harry S. Truman.

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Asterisk  *: Other notes added at that time have been scrutinized and confirmation from Mr. Darby’s writings sought. Any notes which were judged to be of sufficient value to retain, but which could not be positively identified as being Mr. Darby’s (apart from those which are capable of easy verification by reference to a concordance) have been marked by an asterisk.


Italics Example: The transliteration of Hebrew and Greek letters in the notes has been retained as being more convenient to the English reader. Such words are printed in italics. The use of italics in the text indicates emphasis.


LXX: LXX in the footnotes refers to the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.


Keri (קרי): Keri signifies the marginal note of the Massorites, indicating their idea of how the text should be read.


Chetiv: Chetiv is the Hebrew text as it is written. Cf. stands for ‘compare’; Lit. for ‘Literally’.


Square brackets [ ] in the text indicate

(a) words added to complete the sense in English similar to those shown in italics in the Authorised Version; or

(b), words as to which there are variations in the original manuscripts.

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